Matt Cutts published a video about a very interesting topic recently. He talked about the question, if a legitimate and customer appreciated business can fairly compete in gaining higher rankings in the Google search engines with companies that specialized themselves in delivering traffic acquisition. So, can they?
As said in the video, the Internet leveled the chances of big and small companies in the marketing field. It is a extremely playing field where everyone is able to compete, but the game is not leveled at all.
Being a role model in the search engine reality
Try to imagine a young company and entrepreneur who are trying to gain the traffic that they particularly deserve. They could state that they are the rightfully authority in their business. They are also well known by their clients, but in order for them to grow big, they are also aware of the need to attract new customers. There is a large variety of ways to attract new clients online and the popular search engines are always considered as one of the first places they want to look for them. Gaining more organic inbound traffic is treated as an basic component of the online marketing mix.
The SEO landscape
The SEO landscape has changed rapidly over time. Google’s Panda & Penguin updates forced all SEO professionals to change their tactics and are now focussing towards quality. Buying backlinks, participating in several link exchange programs and generating links from spammy content farms are not a valid SEO strategy anymore.
SEO still remains a ongoing process where not only the marketing, but also technical knowledge is needed to gain more organic traffic. Some examples:
- organizing the website’s structure and navigation
- preparing a content sitemap
- preparing the SEO friendly url’s
- optimizing web pages’ titles and describing the enclosed images
- regulating the instructions for web robots in robots.txt
- backlinks management
These technical elements could maybe sound obvious, but also could be a difficult part of the optimization process. As the course of old school SEO has changed completely, and it has become more content centralized, still the technical aspects are equally important as a necessary foundation.
Content marketing, which is commonly called as the new SEO, is aimed to provide unique and valuable information to users. People all over the world are continuously seeking for answers. The content, if it is properly crafted, could influence the users and be the spark that would directly turn a user into a new customer.
Content and it’s direct impact on search engine rankings
Creating excellent and timeless content that will last is a very complicated task. Most of the content that is produced, despite the fact that it is valuable, is temporary. The results of this type of content could be temporary, as well as the interest of the user, since the provided information eventually becomes outdated. Do you honestly care what SEO was 2 years ago? What really counts is the “here and now”. Still, the direct impact of these type of activities are hardly noticeable when we are talking about the rankings. In the peaks of SERPs, sometimes the spammy feel or completely irrelevant, but topnotch optimized sites are visible in the highest positions. Why is this so?
The gray area of SEO reality
SEO is a extremely difficult and constantly evolving process. It has became more diversified and demanding over time. There is a vast range of do’s and don’ts that companies should absolutely stick with, in order to get the wanted results. Although these days it is going towards a more ‘human’ approach, the SEO specialists still have their significant advantage over business do-it-yourself competition.
Organic traffic is never ‘free’
Search engines are programs, called spiders, that crawl the interwebs looking for new information. They are using extremely complicated algorithms to index and deliver us the relevant results that we want. Although their features and provided results keep getting better and better, they are still software programs. Thanks to this, they can also be predictable.
There are several indicators that informs the search engines that your content is the best one to show to it’s user, besides the relevancy. Even if the content is finely detailed, that is simply not enough. SEO professionals have experience and knowledge about the factors and techniques to convince the search engine about their content’s importance. Therefore they are able to gain much higher rankings. That is the reason why very good content, confronted with professionalized SEO techniques, often stays out of the SERPs.
You can already guess that the high rankings in search engines are not free. When there is money, the SEO process that leads to increasing revenue is becoming more professional too.
Why is it so extremely difficult to breach into SERPs and get a good amount of organic traffic?
When companies are struggling to get in the high position and get organic traffic, they are competing in an uneven fight. Although the organic results are not paid to show, they do have a cost. If it is not directly money, it is the time necessary to gain important knowledge and to create valuable content. It also requires a god strategy and lots of analytical preparation, aimed to distribute it and to engage the audience. The endless technical requirements make it even more difficult. Building your brand online and competing with many professionals who are specialized in driving traffic from search engines costs really a lot of time and your effort. It is like taking part in a sports competition, where most of the contestants are seasoned pro’s and you are just a beginner.
SEO is very demanding. For affiliate marketing entrepreneurs who are trying to gain new customers and build their brand online, very little can be done. Since Google is the global number one, we are obliged to play by their rules (and as a matter of fact, we’ve let them set the standards for years now). Bare in mind that SEO is a long term, ongoing process, where rankings should not be the ultimate goal. You have to do intensive research, create several strategies, publish unique and valuable content and distribute it via social media channels. Finally, you have to keep communicating with the public.
If you are going to be systematic, you are going to get more inbound traffic and eventually your efforts will earn you a good position in the SERPs beyond your competition. But be aware that this is a steep and long road. If you start to feel discouraged about your SEO, and I have to admit, that you could be at some moments, Google prepared a place on the side of their pages and on the top of the results page called Adwords.